Sunday, November 29, 2015

Exploring Insadong and Bukchon Village

This past weekend, I went back up to Seoul for a short escapade.  I visited again with old friends and also had the pleasure of meeting some new friends.  Although the time was short, I had a lot of fun and it was well worth it.

Saturday, I met up with my friend Alice (her chosen English name) and her friend Matt (a Canadian from BC who I suppose is my friend now, too =P).  Like any good meet up with friends, we started with food.  Matt led the way to a good Bulgogi place and so off we went. (I don't know the address, but it was right at the start of the main strip of Insadong Street by the Paintbrush statue).
On the threshold of delicious food!
Matt and Alice, ready for food!
A little blurry, but so good nonetheless.  And so many side dishes!
Once full, we were ready to get to the action.  I mentioned previously that Insadong Street (인사동길) is one of the popular shopping streets in Seoul and it really wasn't hard to see why.  There were so many little boutiques along the sides.  From souvenirs (so many magnets!), clothing stores, scarf stores, pottery stores, art and stationery stores... there was so much to see and it was fun even though I didn't buy anything except for a couple stickers.  The main highlight of the street was a... rectangular-spiraled building.  Yes. I realize that might sound weird.  The building was rectangular, but the center was an open courtyard. Along the four walls were more artsy-stores.  The path around the edge was sloped so that you could walk counter-clockwise all the way to the top.
Alice and I in the courtyard.
You can see how the floor is slightly slanted.
Most of the stores didn't allow photos because their merchandise was so cool and unique.  Before I head home next year, I definitely want to come back here to collect some gifts for friends and family.
After Insadong, we headed north to Bukchon Hanok Village, a residential area of Seoul that is made up of the older traditional style of housing.  The buildings are beautiful to look at and I wonder if they are as nice to live in.
Someone's front door.  Many doors had Chinese Hanja written above, on or beside.
A corner shot.
 With all us tourists walking through their neighbourhood, I wonder if the residents get really annoyed.  There were a few cars that kept having to stop as people paused to take pictures.
This tree is over 300 years old.  Naturally, we had to feel the energy and take a picture.
This little shop had a bench outside and since it is a lovely building, we took a picture, too.
 (Matt makes a wonderful selfie-stick.)
Saturday was a full and fun day.  I'm glad that I got to see more of the city while hanging out with wonderful people.  Until the next adventure, Seoul!

Sending my love and hugs back home.  Happy last day of November!

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